In late 2007, Mad Max director George Miller was in Australia prepping to shoot Justice League: Mortal, a superhero team-up film that was just the team-up. No extended cinematic universe. No multiple film franchises colliding together. Just a straight up story of a bunch of people who come together to stop a world-shattering crisis who also just happen to have super powers.
But then a real life crisis derailed the project – the Australian government refused to give Warner Brothers a promised 40% tax rebate incentive, citing the fact that despite having an all Australian crew, the production wasn’t employing enough Australian actors. Never mind the fact that Miller had Australians Megan Gale, Teresa Palmer and Hugh Keays-Bryne in the cast as Wonder Woman, Talia al Ghul and Martian Manhunter respectively. With the film’s budget so negatively impacted, Warners ultimately shut the project down and it would be years before they attempted to build up to something like a Justice League movie again.
For a long time, the project has been fairly shrouded in mystery. The screenplay by Michele and Kieran Mulroney surfaced online several years back. But very little was known about the film’s visual look outside of the leaking of a few pieces of a few concept art until photographer Mark Rogers released two photos of actress Megan Gale in her costume for Wonder Woman in November 2015. Since that time, fans have wondered what the rest of the cast would have looked like in their superhero costumes.
Now we have that look, sort of.
Yesterday, a photo of actor DJ Cotrona in his costume as Superman appeared online. It certainly eschewed the classic “underpants on the outside” look and marks the first time that the trunk-less look would have appeared in any media – either in the comics, animation or live-action. Cotrona has a somewhat slight build here, with which I don’t have too much of a problem. It seems that sometimes people forget that Superman comes from a world with a much heavier gravity and that is why he is so strong here. There’s no need to show him all jacked up the way the character is often portrayed.
Not to be outdone later in the day, on Collider’s Heroes YouTube show, John Schnepp unveiled a low-res picture of the costumes for all the members of the Justice League. Now, it should be noted that the only cast members present for this picture are Megan Gale as Wonder Woman and Hugh Keays-Byrne as Martian Manhunter, as they were relatively close enough to the studio to come by and suit up for the photograph. The remainder of the costumes were being worn by some stand-ins at WETA Studios where the costumes were being built.
We have been able to confirm that this photo was also taken by Rogers, the photographer of the previously released Wonder Woman photos. Of course, with such low resolution we can’t dig to deeply into the look of the costumes, though I do like how the colors pop more and seem much more authenticate to their comic book origins than the dreary, washed out, armored look that dominated Zac Snyder’s work with these characters.
In addition to Cortona, Gale, Palmer and Keays-Bryne, Justice League: Mortal would have starred Armie Hammer as Batman, Adam Brody as Bruce Wayne/Batman, rapper Common as Green Lantern John Stewart, Santiago Cabrera as Aquaman, Anton Yelchin as Wally West/Kid Flash and Jay Baruchel as lead villain Maxwell Lord.